Could you tell me which one of the following sentence is more correct and natural?

I had to work two jobs to get by when I lived in the expensive city.

I had to work at two jobs to get by when I lived in the expensive city

Are both perfectly good?

  • 1
    I wouldn't say work a job. You could say work at, or "I had to (have), (do), (take) or even (hold down) two jobs..." Commented May 11, 2021 at 9:47
  • AmE: The first one. The second sounds like you're trying but not succeeding -- ex: I worked at the counter for a while, but it just wouldn't come clean. Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:01
  • If a context is well defined, both will be natural. The context is employment. If a context is not well defined, the former will be a lexically contradictive sentence. There are other senses of the word job that can collocate with the verb work . For example, Can you play drums? Sullivan: I play drums, and I have worked jobs on thern
    – kngram
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


Both are perfectly acceptable, example 1 sounds slightly more natural. Note that the rule is not universal.

"Work two jobs" is acceptable. "Work one job full time" is acceptable. "Work at MacDonalds and at the office" is acceptable.

"Work MacDonalds and the office" is not acceptable.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .